WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (Nov. 26, 2012) from Lafayette, Louisiana, featuring the big interview featuring Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns revealing their true intentions.
This show has received a mix of good, bad, and baffled reviews, and now it's my turn to sink my teeth in. Let's get right to it, ladies and sirs.
- It was obvious right from the start of the interview that Dean Ambrose is a star. Remember, pro wrestlers get over just as much for the small things as they do for the obvious. His facial expressions while Michael Cole was asking questions told the tale. He's awesome. Reminds me of Heath Ledger's Joker a bit, too, and that's not a bad thing.
- Roman Reigns is raw but the enforcer role suits him perfectly. He's the brawn while Ambrose and Rollins are the brains. That works for me. The black suits make them look like they raided Big Boss Man's old closet but they make it work.
- I like the idea of The Shield being the protectors of what's right and wrong in the sense that right and wrong represents the interests of the smark wrestling community. Haven't we always dreamed of having a group of wrestlers who would go in and clean house when some dumb match is put together under ridiculous circumstances? And wouldn't Dean Ambrose be the perfect leader for this group? And aren't Rollins and Reigns just good enough as the number two and three guys to make the whole thing work really well? I know this isn't ultimately what they're doing, although they're playing on the idea, but this is pretty fucking awesome, isn't it?
- If they're going to make the Raw Active polls a work, and make it so damn obvious they may as well have told you your vote won't mean shit, then don't have them at all. Meanwhile, the interactions between Kane and Daniel Bryan are still really fun. That's amazing considering the attention span and general lack of patience of wrestling fans.
- You know who I didn't miss even a little bit? The Miz and R-Truth. I barely noticed they were gone, despite the fact that I called attention to it just before the show. If they never came back again, it wouldn't bother me in the slightest.
- Each time Ryback speaks, I'm more impressed. Maybe that's because WWE set the bar so low with his initial words being nothing but bad puns on meal time talk but he was relaxed and loose out there last night. It was like Vince being away meant he didn't have to be so rigid in his actions. It paid off. He actually looked like he was having fun out there and it showed. I enjoyed it.
- I also like Ryback saying he wouldn't leave the ring until he got his way. It's a bit lazy as a way to get the match booked for the PPV but it works with a guy like that because who the hell is going to make that guy leave the ring? Not everyone can pull that off. If you're going to do it, make sure it's with someone like Ryback.
- Is it just me or was John Cena trying to sell as good as Dolph Ziggler in their match? He looked like he was really trying to do his best in there, like he was trying to show up the show off. It didn't work, of course, because he's not very good at selling the idea that he's actually injured. His attempt at pulling up lame on his bum knee was particularly bad, which is funny after how well executed everything was last week. Actually, what was the point of all that? If the idea really was to ensure fans that Ziggler has a chance because Cena is hurt, why the hell would you have Cena beat him WHILE INJURED on free TV before they ever get to the PPV? That makes no sense. So either someone's getting bad information (possible) or WWE fails miserably with its short term booking (probable).
- On the Cena-Ziggler match: June was watching with me and while the match was going -- it was a solid match with a pretty hot crowd who was into it all throughout -- I enjoyed looking at her various expressions and reactions to what was happening in the ring. When Dolph would go into his showoff routine, doing sit-ups while Cena laid there, her face would light up and she would chuckle. During Cena's comeback when he launched into the five moves of doom, each shoulder block he hit on Ziggler lessened the smile on her face until it was a downright frown when he went into his "you can't see me" taunt. Ziggler's poking him in the eye brought the delight right back. She would later tell me her dream is a tag team involving Ziggler and Brad Maddox. I'm okay with that dream. I might even share it a little.
- I CAN'T WATCH AJ LEE MAKE OUT WITH JOHN CENA AGAIN. I JUST CAN'T DO IT.
- Actually, did anyone else notice Cena trying really hard not to kiss AJ on the lips? Like he was actively trying to avoid his lips coming into contact with hers. Most awkward makeout session ever.
- I also hate how they book AJ because it's all about Vince McMahon's views on women, which is that they're all sluts who around only to entertainment the men, plain and simple. Take AJ's talking points with Vickie Guerrero last night. She literally told Vickie she's glad Vickie got her removed from power because it now gives her the ability to do whatever she wants with whoever she wants. She then proceeded to flirt with Cena by gently touching his face, slapping his ass and then trying to make out with him again. Basically, she's glad she was demoted from General Manager to superstar because now she can be the raging super-slut she always wanted to be. Man, fuck Vince McMahon's seriously disturbing viewpoint on women.
- If this all ends in AJ turning on Cena and hooking up with Ziggler, it will continue to perpetuate AJ being a super-slut but at least it won't make me want to puke when they lock lips. Plus, she could turn heel and I think her current character would do really well on the other side of this.
- By the time Punk starts working consistently in the main event matches on Raw, it's deep into the three hour era when everyone is tired of the show and tuning out. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. What really sucks is the third hour last night was the best one. It's just too bad so few likely stuck around to see it.
- Could Sheamus vs. Big Show be any more underwhelming?
- Never job Titus O'Neil to Ryback again, please. Thanks.
This was a pretty damn good show, all things considered. Happy with storyline development, mostly happy with character turns (save for AJ), and TLC is looking like it has a ton of potential.
Feed me more.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thought and reactions to Raw.